Russian Rockot Lofts Three Gonets-M Craft

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A Russian Rockot launcher lifted off Sept. 9 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia carrying three Gonets-M communications satellites and undisclosed military payloads.

Following launch, the spacecraft were injected into their target orbit by the Rockot’s Breeze-KM upper stage, according to Krunichev, the prime contractor for the three-stage launch vehicle.

The Gonets-M satellites were built by Russia’s ISS Reshetnev. The small satellites are used to store and forward personal messages.